This paper aims to discuss the activities carried out in the frame of the public archaeology project Open Salapia after the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe. After many years of fieldwork and activities with the public, the relationship between the archaeologists and the local community had to find new ways to keep going and respect the state of emergency limitations. We asked ourselves if a social network like Facebook could be a valuable tool for a community mapping experience engaging the citizens of Trinitapoli (Foggia, Italy). The Facebook page community was asked to take part in a participatory process for co-creation of a community map by sharing memories and audio-visual materials on the urban and rural landscape forms, uses, and traditions in the distant or recent past. The result is a digital community map that can be used both by the local community and visitors and constantly enriched in compliance with the ever-changing collective perception of cultural heritage.
This paper focuses on the challenges of adapting – and changing – a community archaeology project as a direct consequence of the global pandemic. COVID-19 has affected our interactions with local communities, driving home the need to create forms of socializing that can withstand physical distance. We will present here the associated challenges and problems, but also the opportunities, that emerged from starting a community archaeology project in Jordan at the time of social distancing and travel limitations. Our case study outlines the difficulties of initiating a community engagement program with the communities living around the site of Tell Ya’moun, the area of the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empire survey project, during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.